Self-Navigating Wheelchair

Hoerst, Ben
Morton, Tyler
All throughout the world there are thousands of disabled people that require a wheelchair to effectively move around. The type of disability that affects those in a wheelchair can range from severe back problems and missing limbs, to nearly full body paralysis. Those with disabilities that limit movement other than just in the lower body, such as those with paralysis everywhere below the neck, may have difficulty operating an automatic wheelchair with a joystick. Our senior design project aims to help give the user of a wheelchair the ability to move from place to place with the least possible physical effort to control the wheelchair. With the use of ultrasonic sensors around the wheelchair, the system is able to sense the objects around it and safely navigate to its destination. Rotary encoders on the wheels will allow the system to known how far the wheelchair is traveling and relay that information to the software on a microcontroller that contains a custom map of a preprogrammed environment. With these components, among a few others, the system will be able to autonomously control the movements of the wheelchair. This project will directly contribute to the quality of life for people with disabilities, with special emphasis on independent living.
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